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Document management construction to top level at Den Hollander

Den Hollander digitisation move: project documentation and communication to higher level

Den Hollander construction consultancy and design advises, designs and manages architectural projects for many different clients. To take project documentation and communication with clients, contractors and others involved in projects to the next level, Den Hollander chose M-Files. This information management system resulted in considerable time savings, error prevention and improved insight. As a result, Den Hollander can do more in less time and deliver the quality it strives for. Now and in the future.

"Saving documents in the wrong folder and it was searching for a needle in a haystack"

The subject specialists at Den Hollander bouwadvies en ontwerp have been active since 1995 in providing architectural designs within the private and business market. From business to educational organisations and from housing associations to the agricultural sector, both conversion and new construction. To this end, they provide accurate construction drawings, details and 3D visualisations. The specialists at Den Hollander all work in projects and, until recently, a network disk was the starting point around managing projects.

Bas Koopmanschap, project manager and system administrator at Den Hollander, on their old way of working: "In project teams, we work daily for a variety of clients, varying in size and sometimes with a high degree of complexity. In the old situation, we kept all project documentation in folders on the central network drive. Communications (e-mails) were also stored here. To keep track of ongoing and expiring projects, we had to create overviews ourselves, manually in Excel. The same applied to all correspondence. We stored them in the same way, so e-mails and documents could still be found, but the way of storing them was very cumbersome. Moreover, it was extremely error-sensitive. One document accidentally slipped into the wrong folder and it was like looking for a needle in a haystack."

Flexible views enhance the overview and createëre insight

In searching for the right solution, Den Hollander first explored the market: "We soon had a shortlist, where it became clear that M-Files offered all the functionalities we were looking for and was also affordable." All employees now work on one central platform: M-Files. This means that documents are now stored based on what it is, rather than where. This saves a lot of time, says Koopmanschap: "If I was looking for a document from customer X, I first had to know under which project number it was stored. That is no longer necessary, now I just type in the name of the customer or the project and all related documents roll right out, really ideal."

"M-Files offered all the desired functionalities and was affordable too"

M-Files has also dramatically increased Den Hollander's insight thanks to its flexible views. "All kinds of views can be created in M-Files. For example, I now have 'All projects I am project manager of' as a view. All my projects are shown here, ideal" says the project manager. Because a specific customer sometimes had many different projects, structure was lost in the old situation: "Then colleagues would save documents under the wrong project and people couldn't find it again. Now I just search on that customer name and M-Files shows all projects, documents and information of that customer. Like a kind of information Barbapapa, I think of an overview or view I want and M-Files shows it."

External access to information

When employees are working externally, they also need to be able to access project documentation and correspondence. With a central network drive, this was out of the question; with M-Files, Den Hollander embraces mobility. Koopmanschap: "There is an application for every device, whether you have Android, iPhone or a Windows phone, M-Files supports everything. Ideal for when I want to quickly look up a project's contacts or see the latest correspondence. Even if I don't have a connection, I can make the information available offline, just like with Spotify."

With the growing digital age, e-mail traffic at Den Hollander also grew dramatically. In the old situation, e-mails were no longer easy to find: "We stored e-mails grouped in a folder per project, the big disadvantage of this was that in Windows Explorer you can no longer search by metadata as Outlook does. This took time. Now if I accidentally link e-mail to the wrong project it doesn't matter. M-Files searches through all the data and finds the e-mail anyway, I then just need to change the project with a click."

Live within a week

Bas Koopmanschap is also delighted with the implementation of M-Files: "We got in touch with GeONE, they listened to us very carefully, when we had questions, GeONE's consultants were there for us immediately." It was particularly the speed and quality that made Koopmanschap so enthusiastic: "In no-time, M-Files was fully set up. We were really live within a week, which exceeded our wildest expectations."

"Documents available offline, just like with Spotify"

Koopmanschap and his colleagues are very satisfied. "Of course, working with M-Files took some getting used to, but really everyone was sold after their first experience. We save time, can work together better, reduce e-mail traffic, prevent errors and with the extended insights we can deliver even higher quality work" says Bas Koopmanschap.

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